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Hamas gunman kills 1, injures 4 in old town


JERUSALEM – A Palestinian gunman killed one person and injured four others when he opened fire near the entrance to a holy site in Jerusalem, Israeli police said on Sunday.

This is the second deadly incident in the historic Old City of Jerusalem in recent days.

The “gunshot attack” killed one Israeli civilians and injured two others, a police spokesman said, adding that two officers were also slightly injured.

The gunman, 42, was shot dead by police officers who retaliated, the spokesperson said. They added that a knife was also found at the scene, along with the weapon he used to carry out the attack.

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Describing the attack as a “heroic operation,” the Hamas militant group said in a statement that the shooter was one of their members.

The incident took place near the entrance to a disputed shrine known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. He is considered a saint by both denominations.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed support for the victims at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting and said he had ordered the country’s security forces to be on alert to prevent similar attacks.

Sunday’s incident was the second of its kind in the historic Old City of Jerusalem in recent days. A Palestinian teenager was shot and killed on Wednesday after stabbing two Israeli border police officers.

Police were hospitalized and the teenager, identified as a 16-year-old from East Jerusalem, was pronounced dead at the scene.

However, shootings around Jerusalem’s Old City and its holy sites are relatively rare, and Israel maintains a significant security presence in the region.

In recent years, however, Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbing, rifle and car-ramming attacks against Israeli civilians and security personnel.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City and its Christian, Muslim and Jewish holy sites, as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Middle East War of 1967. It then annexed East Jerusalem in a movement not recognized by most of the international community.

Palestinians seek the occupied West Bank and Gaza for a future independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Lawahez Jabari reported from Jerusalem, Paul Goldman from Tel Aviv, Yuliya Talmazan from London.

The Associated Press contributed.


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